My son has had ADHD for as long as I can look back. Yes, kids are supposed to be hyper but sometimes you can just see that little bit extra!

As a young child:

Very sensitive, running from one task to another, legs twitching while trying to fall asleep, running away from teachers/day care workers
many accidents due to clumsiness, not sitting still.

As an almost teen-ager:

Not focusing in school, REALLY disorganized, school work always late, forgetting to eat lunch, losing jackets, sweaters, leaving doors open, leave soy milk on table and forget to put away, mood swings, defiant

What were his symptons?

Restless
Not able to finish tasks
Did not handle change well (freak out if something unplanned happened like go to IKEA instead of Home Depot as we originally planned.)
Could not sit still, leg constantly moving until asleep
Hyper focus: getting so involved in task (reading, puzzle, building etc.) that did not hear you to stop. If asked to stop would freak out.)
Impulsiveness: throwing rocks @ cars, doing other dangerous things without thinking. Even if told not the day before.
Mood swings: very sensitive, cry easily, low self esteem, strange ramblings, over dramatic

What did we try?


Fish Oils, Dietary changes.
Strattera, Concerta, Adderall
Native Remedies (Focus, Mindsoothe Jr and Brightspark)

What works for him?

No MILK! (Milk is like liquid sugar for him - super hyper.)
Very little refined sugar
2 bananas a day
LOTS of water through out day to flush out system
physical activity - sports
CONSISTENT ROUTINE - same routine as much as possible - repetition
Positive reinforcement & feedback

Is he on drugs?


Not any more. He was on Strattera but that was causing him so real crazy thoughts and scary images in his mind - so that was done with
We tried Concerta but that didn't last and the next highest dose was too much for him. Adderall worked a bit for about 5 months and then stopped working - almost like his body metabolized it and got used to it.

Another mom I knew told me her son was on Native Remedies Mindsoothe Jr. a herbal remedy. So I gave it a go and it works! My son is old enough to communicate his feelings and he was able to notice a difference. We stopped the Adderall immediately and he's been on only Native Remedies for the last 7 months.

He is on:

Mindsoothe Jr: Calms him and creates good mood balance, reduces anger & frustration feelings
Focus Formula: helps him focus & concentrate
Brightspark: reduces hyperactivity and impulsivenes.

I tried taking him off one @ a time to see if changes were noticeable and they were! He is only all 3 now and doing good.

BUT.....


Diet is VERY important - if my son has sugar (which he usually gets from friends @ school) he is done! His behavior and mood are messed up if he doesn't take care of his diet.

Sleep - also very important - if he's overtired he's a mess!

Consistent routine & expectations: knowing what he has to do, how to do it and when is crucial. Throwing a list of 20 things for him to do during the day will confuse & frustrate him easily. Knowing how he handles tasks and takes them all in has helped us to help him. Now, we keep it simple, write it down in a check list format so he can tick them off 1 @ a time.

He is very creative and expressive now, though before he could not verbalize his thoughts and usually came across as rude or as saying the wrong thing. He is very caring and empathetic but can still get easily frustrated and hurt (emotionally).

Our son has learned that ADHD is part of his life and he needs to learn to deal with it. These techniques are works in progress.

Can he be successful still?


Of course! I've met many people with ADHD as adults - some knew they had it, others did not. I watched how they managed their lives & work and they've all developed techniques that worked for them.

What about failures?

Many people with ADHD/ADD do fail in life. But mainly because they were not understood or given the opportunity to succeed. Pushed down, criticized and punished for not being like everyone else - these people gave up and got resentful and discouraged (who wouldn't?) and took easy ways out. Most likely hanging with crowds who accepted them for who they were (rough and criminal crowds.) Self medicating is also a common course of action (Marijuana) to take the edge off and slow things down.

Parenting ADHD

NOT EASY!

Hard, frustrating and big test of limits. But there are resources out there and remember: no one is perfect! Every parent will look back on one instance or another and wish they had approached it differently. Understanding your child and helping them help themselves will be hard and there is no right answer or method. Get involved in support groups if you can - for yourself, family and individually for the child.

Support


Read books
Contact your mental health community center
Family doctor
Teachers, School workers
Web sites
Brochures
Psychiatrists/Psychologists
Support groups
Family/Friends

You are not alone and this path will be a long one - but understanding ADHD/ADD is the first step!